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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the steps needed to solve complex problems in your personal life and the world at large.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • In difficult times, problems come to the surface.
  • Traditional approach: quickly solve the problem and be done with it.
  • Problem-solving rooted in cause & effect versus system thinking.
  • What is system thinking?
  • “When we don’t see a system, we break it.” (Gregory Bateson)
  • Avoiding problem replication through accurate diagnosis.
  • System Map Drawing.
  • For any change in your life/area of dissatisfaction, start looking at the system that created the current emergent.
  • Meeting a problem at its actual complexity level.
  • Start thinking of your own problems as systems.
  • The ease of oversimplifying: even the wrinkles in our brains are becoming shallower (Book ‘The Shallows’).
  • We go between indulgence/negligence (during homeostasis) and impatience/un-resourcefulness (during crises).
  • Use homeostasis to train our minds in finding personal satisfaction in problem-solving.
  • 7 steps in the lifecycle of a problem:
    • Inception (initial condition of a system)
    • Identification (awareness & pain)
    • Diagnostic
    • Solutions (actions)
    • Test-iterate (solutions)
    • Maintenance
    • Completion (integrated into lifestyle)
  • “If I had 60minutes to save the world, I would spend 55 defining the problem.” (Einstein)
  • We replace bad systems with slightly better ones.
  • Vetting a solution’s effectiveness with time and scale.
  • The importance of not letting yourself off the hook when things start to feel better.
  • Real solutions involve behavioral change and maintenance.
  • The best place to start is with yourself – how to solve problems in your own personal life.
  • Connecting the dots with a Personality Type Example: “I am so different from my family”.
  • Applying system thinking to your own life.
  • Contributing to solving the world’s most complex problems through better thinking.

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the steps needed to solve complex problems in your personal life and the world at large.

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  • Linda S
    • Linda S
    • August 15, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful presentation on ST. This resonates for me and is a subject I have long been interested in. These kinds of topics are, I believe, what your mission is all about, and as an INFP, I am most grateful for. I appreciate Erik Bland’s articulate comments as well.

  • J
    • J
    • June 15, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    This was a fantastic podcast!

    I recently wrote to Joel and Antonia asking how my partner (ESFJ) and I (ENFP) could communicate better. We both listened to this and found it a revaluation.

    I get stuck on the diagnosing, researching and iterations. I never want to commit to a solution and boring problems slam my mind shut quite quickly.

    My partner tends to go for an obvious short term solution and isn’t great at working out how this could stress othe nodes in the system. And once a decision is made, it’s made. There is no alternative or backtracking.
    It’s a frustrating dynamic for both of us. So having a road map to work on solutions (like , say, should we send our kids back to school the rest of the semester?) that we’ve been glitching on has so far been way smoother.
    Thank you both for this. And also, I’m kind of glad you don’t bring day to day politics into this. I have so many other podcasts I enjoy doing that now and some of it is really clumsy and crowbarred in. I stick to the news podcasts for opinion like that. This podcast is my little escape.

  • Bob Johnson
    • Bob Johnson
    • June 11, 2020 at 1:43 am

    Ok. I am very out of line for my previous comment. I apologize. I truly love your podcast and i think i just felt deeply hurt that two people I have looked up to for so long are choosing to produce content during this period and not taking a stand.

    I am disappointed. But it is your platform, your business, and you can do what you like.

    I wrote that comment with the assumption that you actually like black people and believe that their lives matter. But how do i know? I don’t know you personally. For all i know, maybe you totally hate them lol

    My feelings and perspective haven’t changed from my previous comment. but i could have communicated better (and definitely used spellcheck).

    Again, I apologize for attacking you. Good luck with towing the middle line and trying to keep everybody happy.

  • Steven Harris
    • Steven Harris
    • June 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    As an African American male what if, I was offended by your comments Bob? My Fi doesn’t flair up much, but it did when I read some of the comments on here.

    Simplified Systems thinking below. Strong Te users would probably see it like this.
    Question -> inputs + nodes = output ->desired output?

    The fact that people choose to use systems thinking gives you the space to use systems thinking. XD

    My dad past away due to CoVID-19 and part of my grieving process was understanding what an extrovert he is, and how many people he came in contact with because of his natural inclination to meet people, his eagerness to shake hands, give hugs, his job that made him travel around the state, the fact that he didn’t keep hand sanitizer in his car. All these things and more culminated to his death. Its just a way to process information that won’t leave you so triggered.

  • Bob Johnson
    • Bob Johnson
    • June 11, 2020 at 1:29 am

    You lost me on this one. You both are white right? This felt very cowardly to listen to considering everything happening in the United States.

    Hearing you talk about “systems thinking” when somebody was suffocated to death by having his neck knelt on by a whites person, and during such an important moment in the United States history was truly the essence of privilege at its finest.

    Do you think that black mothers that can’t buy you guns for their sons (for fear of what will happen when the boy plays outside with it) are in any position to be doing systems thinking?

    Do you think that Floyd’s family is in any emotional state to be doing systems thinking?

    What is the point of your platform if you cannot speak directly and openly on tough issues? Wait wait. Let me guess “you don’t like to date your podcast because you want it to be evergreen”

    Yes, we realize that systems thinking is the way to go. But surely you also know that humans are fundamentally emotional creatures first and foremost.

    You had / have a chance to influence real change by speaking to the HEARTS of your audience on a matter that is so urgent.

    But no, you are here speaking to the brain and the mind. Where are the Te users on your team? Why did they not advise you that this episode is truly bulllshit (assuming your intention was to help)

    Are you really going to let your child grow up in a world where black people get killed for jogging? Or have their necks squashed in the street for not apparent reason? Maybe you are doing something to effect change offline but honestly it was so irritating to listen to this podcast episode KNOWING it was your feeble attempt to make a contribution.

    Next time, be authentic. Have emotions. Show empathy. Talk about the issue. Or just keep quiet and enjoy the privilege of having the mental space to think systematically.

    Even in the episode, you said triage is ok. now is the time for triage. where is yours?

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